On Tuesday November 4th 2008 American’s will go to the polls to elect their 44th President. Assuming the polls are correct, and it’d be a pretty big shocker if they weren’t, Barack Obama will be that President. Now whilst I am never going to endorse Obama for purely political not personal reasons, I congratulate him on presiding over what can only be described as a formidable electoral machine and a momentus campaign. However true to form my allegiences lie with John McCain to the last ditch and even as the writing appears to be well and truly on the wall I am still backing his bid for President.
The truth is that for me Barack Obama’s inexperience is dangerous, particularly at this time with an increasingly arrogant Russia and rebellious regimes like Iran. To add insult to injury the experience that Obama does have is troubling to say the least. As far as I can see Obama had one clear chance to get a bit of experience and make a judgement call that he could have added to his record… Iraq. The Iraq surge was one of the most important issues he has confronted as a legislator and he got it spectacularly wrong.
In fact to add insult to injury Obama has continued to oppose the surge at every level even when it was plain for even its most harsh of critics to see that it was succeeding. Only now, as he finally concedes the surge has worked ‘beyond our wildest estimations’, he insists his opposition to it was correct. This arrogance, this refusal to look beyond party politics or even concede he has got it wrong is not good Presidential material. His rhetoric of bipartisanship ultimately defies his record.
The fact remains that if Obama had had his way and been the Commander in Chief, all American troops would have been withdrawn from Iraq by March of this year which ultimately would have led to civil war and most likely genocide; an unprecedented victory for al-Qaeda and Islamic jihadists; and a much needed boost to the Iranians. America and the world at large cannot afford that kind of failed leadership. Now I am not so naieve as to suggest the war on terror is won. But that is precisely why we need the 44th President to be as strong as the 43rd.
We need someone who will take the unpopular decisions that will ultimately keep us safe. That includes the widespread use of surveillance, a willingness to work outside do-nothing multilateral institutions such as the UN, and pursuit of the doctrine of pre-emption. Another great Conservative leader, Winston Churchill, defined the doctrine of pre-emption half a century ago in characteristic style: “You must never fire until you’ve been shot dead? That seems to be a silly thing to say.” McCain understands this, Obama doesn’t.
This summer summed up what we can expect from a President Obama even more perfectly. When Russia invaded Georgia McCain, and his Conservative counterpart David Cameron, responded immediately and condemned this outrageous action, Obama by contrast blinked. Democrats and left wingers like Obama are filled with this sense that deep down the world is a lovely melting pot of harmony and we can all live in perpetual peace. Tosh. The world is filled with conflicting principles and ideologies with zealots on both sides prepared to fight to the death. There are individuals who quites simply you cannot negotiate with and to try is folly.
It is in this light that you cannot afford to sit in the middle of the road because you will be mowed down by traffic on both sides. You have to pick a side and fight for it from those who would seek to destroy it. Now for me freedom is better than dictatorship, freedom and the rule of law. So I am prepared to back a President who is prepared to fight for that freedom against those who would seek to supress it. That President is John McCain not Barack Obama.
Our inaction against and appeasement of regimes and ideologies like Iran may give us a much desired moment of respite only to be followed by even more of a crisis further down the line which we will be forced to respond to. We Conservatives have never shyed away from a challenge. We are not so naieve in our view of the world. We recognise the failings of the human condition and we seek to defend liberty and the rule of law by force where neccessary. As such I find it beyond perposterous that a Conservative can support someone as naieve as Obama.
The fact is that Obama, while exuding a centrist style and employing populist reconcilliatory rhetoric, has amassed a record (not mere words and fairytale but reality) that places him on the extreme left end of the political spectrum, whether the subject is taxes, trade, healthcare, the size and role of the federal government, the federal courts, missile defence, or virtually any other policy area. History shows us the left wing has never held the answers to our problems and they do not hold the answers now.
Ultimately the next President of the United States will inherit a collapsing economy, 2 wars, a lamentable international reputation, a resurgent and arrogant Russia, a rebellious Iran and a disillusioned and demotivated population. To respond to these crises you need a man of commitment and conviction, someone who has been tried and tested, someone who has fought for his nation both militarily and politically, someone who has a record of bi-partisanship, someone who understands the rules of the game and the failings of the human condition and most importantly someone who understands what it means to be free and is prepared to fight for it against those who would deny it: that man is John McCain. The world wants Obama but it needs McCain.